by Suman Gupta
New Delhi, May , 2017: Adding a new strength to KhadiIndia’s fashion power-house, Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd. and Khadi and Village Industries Commission, Ministry of MSME, Government of India today announced a strategic collaboration to strengthen the synergies between the two iconic Indian brands. This initiative is in line with the Hon. Prime Minister’s vision of promoting ‘Khadi for Fashion’ and hand-woven fabric. The agreement document was exchanged between Ms. Anshu Sinha, CEO, KVIC and Mr. Ashish Dikshit, Business Head, Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd. in the august presence of Shri Vinai Kumar Saxena, Chairman KVIC, and other dignitaries.
As a part of this strategic partnership, Peter England, leading menswear brand from the fashion brands portfolio of Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail will be among the leading brands to develop an exclusive product line branded as ‘Khadi by Peter England’.
Speaking on this partnership, KVIC Chairman V.K. Saxena said, “Khadi, the heritage fabric of India which was discovered and promoted by none other than Mahatma Gandhi, has grown with passage of time and has come to become a major job provider in rural areas at a very low cost capital investment. Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given a major boost to Khadi Programme by regularly appealing to the countrymen to buy Khadi and support rural artisans. This has created a great demand for Khadi and I am happy to inform that the Khadi and Village Industries sale has crossed Rs.50,000 Crore mark during 2016-17. The KVIC – Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd. convergence is a major initiative to bring Khadi into the branded garments market in a big way with better designs, colours, and style to cater to the youth segment and the high end market. This convergence will provide around 2 lakhs man hours to the Khadi artisans and will definitely bring in much needed professional input in Khadi readymades.”
Commenting on the collaboration, Mr. Ashish Dikshit, Business Head, Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail said, “Our partnership with Khadi & Village Industries Commission is a testimony of our commitment towards innovative and sustainable fashion. Reckoned as ‘Fabric of the Nation’, Khadi is a symbol of self – sufficiency, a versatile fabric that is trendy, with high-fashion appeal in its pure, rustic form. Authentic, Indian products resonate strongly with the Indian consumers and there is an increasing demand for hand-made fabric, that stays true to its roots and exudes simplicity and vogue at the same time. Through our partnership with KVIC, we aim to bring the rich Indian heritage of hand-woven fabric closer to our discerning consumers.”
Elaborating on this strategic initiative, Ms. Anshu Sinha, CEO, KVIC said “KVIC has been taking many new marketing initiatives to promote Khadi and village industries products. Bulk orders has been received from Corporates, PSUs and Govt. Departments like ONGC, Air India, Ministry of Health, J. K. Cement etc. to develop the market for Khadi and also provide professional expertise in area of designing product development etc. KVIC has developed convergence with major market leaders like Raymond Ltd. and Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd. This will be a win win proposition for both the organizations and will bring in sustainable employment to Khadi artisans.”
This initiative is conceptualized under KVIC Act that permits it to promote the sale and marketing of Khadi or products of Village industries or handicrafts and forge links with established marketing agencies through the PPP mode. Under this convergence, Peter England has agreed for a guaranteed minimum procurement of Khadi and Khadi products for a period of 5 years with primary purchases of muslin cotton and silk. This partnership will prove not only provide assured market to Khadi artisans and institutions but will also give opportunity to upgrade the skill and designs of fabric and garments and also create sustainable employment opportunities in rural areas through Khadi.
‘Khadi by Peter England’, a mélange of Indian ethos and latest trends is sure to position Khadi as a fashion fabric. As a part of this strategic association, Peter England will also bring in the design interventions at Khadi manufacturing clusters across the country along with providing technical expertise. Additionally, Peter England will procure all India Khadi varieties from departmental sales outlets of KVIC for OTC sales as well as crafting garments for its apparel brands. Additionally, Khadi Logo will be displayed across Peter England stores through visual merchandising, where Khadi products are displayed. Currently, Khadi is being marketed by Khadi Gramodyog Bhavan’s stores as well as through the sales outlets run by the institutions financed by KVIC and KVIB.
Khadi by Peter England will be available at Peter England stores across the country, KVIC outlets and leading ecommerce portals. There are around 700 retail points selling Peter England brand and they all be involved for marketing of the new Khadi range.